Saturday, August 12, 2017

PCT Oregon Section Hike

Friday: (08/12) I thought it might not happen but, I'm finally off to Ashland to continue my PCT hike. Snow, fires, projects, and other issues have tried their best to delay it. I've been lucky my previous three train trips and the Coast Starlight was on time. This trip is like my other two Coast Starlight trips. The train was a minute short of six hours late arriving in San Jose. I stayed at Dawn's place in SJ and got some sleep before heading to the station. For some reason, Lou wasn't interested in delivering me to the station at that hour. Strange? I had text alerts enabled and had checked the train status an hour or so before we headed off to dinner and the station. "On time". When we arrived at the station about an hour before it's arrival I checked its status. It was running 4.5 hours late. I left my backpack with the agent and we headed back to Palo Alto. Lou needed to pickup a friend and drive her to San Jose but we hadn't known that until we were already in the way to SJ. She's leaving by plane tomorrow and was staying in San Jose for the night. As we were almost to her place in SJ I got a phone call saying the train had been canceled. A couple of minutes after that I got another call saying it was on schedule and would arrive on time. Not good since it was then two minutes till departure and we were a couple miles from the station. Fortunately, we got a third call a couple of minutes later saying it was still delayed. I checked at the station with the agent and confirmed it was now more than 5 hours late arriving closer to 0200. We then dropped our friend and I was dropped off at Dawn's place where I napped a few hours. About 0045 I started my walk to the station. Now enjoying the comfort of the train as it tries to rock me to sleep. This trip was delayed last week by a flare up of the two fires near Crater Lake. They had just closed all the trails in the park. I worked up a new plan that avoided the fire and redid my resupply boxes. So, this afternoon at about 1600 I learned the trail was open again by the lake but still some Southern trails closed. So still some road walk but now back to the original plan. Changed Just in time for me to send my first resupply off to the right place. If we don't make up a lot of time tonight I'll be arriving in Klamath Falls about 1400 and Ashland by bus about 1700. So probably no trail miles tomorrow. I spoke to the conductor and asked why the delay. He said the train ran a red light.They had to get another engineer. Definitely a worthwhile delay. When I got to Ashland I searched online for a motel. I ended up a few blocks from the bus stop at the same motel I stayed at last time, the Ashland Motel. I grabbed dinner at the same Mexican restaurant I enjoyed the last visit.


Sunday: (08/13) Up at 0630. Showered, watched TV and looked into getting a ride up to the trail. It became 0745 and I still hadn’t gotten Lyft or Uber to provide one. I decided to have breakfast next door at the Morning Glory restaurant. I got there about 0750 and was the 20th person in line waiting for them to open. I had eggs, pancakes, and bacon. It came with a muffin too. I took it with me. Excellent pancakes made perfect with their berry compote. Back at my room, I called a cab. They couldn't arrive for 45 minutes. Once up at Callahan’s Lodge, (MM1715) I changed my black from transit mode to trial mode. Basically, a lot of stuff comes out, like my poles and I fill my water bottles. I carried 5 liters and used 3. If I had needed to camp along the way I would have needed the other 2 liters. On trail about 1130, 1200 on the PCT. I made it to a nice piped spring at MM1725.6 where I camped for the night. Stopped about 1800.About 10 PCT miles and 1.5 to get to it. Camped near Steve who started at Etna.



Monday: (08/14) Foggy morning, the wind was gone. I met Grayjay and Sprouts, two SB hikers from the Netherlands. They sort of woke me from one of my naps. I was headed down the trail and met a hiker I ask if he was SB he said no, he was NB. I was confused after my nap but then remembered the down slope was on the wrong side for me. I followed him back up the trail where I had been about 200 feet up the trail. Good thing I met him. I stopped for the night at MM 1740, Hyatt Lake CG. Two hikers joined me for the night. They started in Ashland this morning, twice my speed. Oh, to be young again

Tuesday: (08/15) Camped at MM1757. I made my 17 miles today. Tomorrow only 14 miles to Fish Lake. I intend to hitch from there to Crater Lake. The fire blocks most of the southern Crater Lake trails. May have to spend a night at Fish Lake for a shower and wash. Also I’ll be arriving late. Hitching better during daylight. Still more SB hikers passing by me than NB hikers passing me. Most of the NB hikers are doing 25 to 40 mile days. The don’t stay within my sight for long.


Wednesday: (08/16) On trail 0630. Two miles to a water cache, the normal source of water nearby was a nonworking hand pump. I met Winter (a quiet girl with a slight accent) and DG (delayed gratification, a guy in a hurry). Again today I had more SB hikers even though I was passed NB by more total today. I made pretty good time even though the last seven miles were on loose lava rock. Sort of like a red rock road. The red rock isn’t native. I called ahead and reserved a cabin. My USB external battery died too soon and my phone had 20% less charge than when I started charging. I tried it again when I woke up and lower the phones charge to 3%. Not good. I meant to bring two external batteries but evidently left one at home. Fortunatly I do have a second phone battery. It was 14 trail miles and three road mile today. I arrived at the resort at 1630. Batteries on charge, a nice shower, nice dinner at the cafe, washed my clothes in the sink, all done. MM1771


Thursday: (08/17) Another shower then breakfast at the cafe. I was on trail to the trail by 1030. Then 2.5 miles to Highway 140 and the PCT by 1120. A humming bird landed on my foot as I was trying to catch a ride. Probably attracted by my orange gaiters. I gave up on getting a hitch about 1445. Filled my water and started up the trail. I guess I was just lazy. Camped at MMM1779.5 Near.Twin Lakes. 8.5 trail miles, 11 miles total miles. Not a bad in and out even with the wasted attempt to hitch. Now I won't leave a hole that I’ll have to return to do. It served the purpose of charging my batteries. I think I found what I did wrong with my battery. I thought it was auto off like my other one, not so. It needed to be turned off by holding the on button. I hope I remember.

Friday: (08/18) Camped at MM1797. A good 17 mile day. I only saw two SBers and was passed by only two NBers. First part of day was through fairly level forest. Second part was mostly uphill, on loose rocky trail and through some recently burned area. The day ended with a mile down hill passed some snow patches. Camped by a creek with one fellow camper Mark.




Saturday: (08/19) On trail at 0645. Only 5 miles of the PCT until the fire closure then I took the Seven Mile Trail, which, oddly, was only Two miles long? That brought me to the trailhead. It was then about 5.5 miles on gravel roads then 3.8 miles on paved road to Fort Klamath and Hwy 62. Hard road walk. I saw Auna Godinez (Corvallis)across the street. She seemed glad to see me. I needed a drink and ice cream before trying to hitch. She said she’d be my hitch bait with myself as her protector for the hitch. When I finished my snack, We got a ride in about 15 minutes in a white camper van in Fort Klamath that took us right to the Mazama Store arriving at 1630. Costa and Blumbon, two foreign sounding guys from San Francisco? Auna and I washed our clothes. We met Christine Seastac (San Diego) there and we all went to dinner. Mark Barrett (Placerville) joined us there. He was the guy I camped with last night. After dinner we all went to Christine’s (with her friends Mike and his wife) campsite for a campfire. Late night. Crowded park full up due to the eclipse Monday. Luckily it didn’t have crowded washroom or showers.




Sunday: (08/20) Up at 0600 and discovered my phone battery was at 0% again. I swapped my phone battery and was down at the washroom at 0700 and put both my phone battery and external battery on charge. I then returned to camp and broke camp and loaded my pack to go. Auna and I had breakfast then checked on the trail. She wasn’t ready to leave yet. I took the last shuttle up to the Rim Village. That had given my batteries almost four hours of charge. Hopefully enough. I think the problem might be leaving the EartMate satellite app running when the communictor has been turned off. We’ll see. I started on the West Rim Trail at noon after filling my water. Toward the North end, I finally got good Verizon 4G so I posted to Facebook. Camped near the junction of PCT at MM1836, and West Rim Trail in the Grouse Hill Camp. Nice day today but the views were not good. About six tents here tonight.



Monday: (08/21) Solar Eclipse Day. I slept in until 0700. Picked up some water at a cache near the junction of PCT and Rim Trail. I stopped at MM1839.85 to watch the eclipse. This would be a 26 mile dry section if it weren’t for two nice caches. And, as an added pleasure most of it was uphill. Nice views from the ridge on Mt Thielsen before coming down some to camp. Camped at MM1853.48. Over 18 miles today. Camped with one of the same folks from last night, a section hiker from central Oregon. We’re in a valley below Mt Thielsen on the North side and we have snow patches all along the creek.




Tuesday: (08/22) On trail 0715. Stopped at Thielsen Creek, about .1 mile later to get water. 17 miles to the next water. Hot dry trail up and down. Arrived at Six Horse Spring about 1730. I started my chili bean soup so it could soak a long time for tender beans. I then took a bag of bottles down the trail to the spring. Supposedly ⅓ miles to the bottom of the steep trail and it must have lengthened when I carried up my 7 liters. There”s more sweat to dry before I get in my tent. Camped above the spring at MM1870.


Wednesday: (08/23) MM1887 Camped by Summit Lake. Another dry day of 17 miles. Luckily there was a water cache at Windigo Pass TH to top off my water. Some pretty and some dry forest and even some view in clearer air. Nice breeze in the afternoon. A long uphill of several miles started the day. I was on the trail at 0730. Lots of different folks here at this camp. Warm water in the lake. I filled my bags so it can cool overnite.


Thursday: (08/24) Camped at Shelter Cove Resort, about 2.1 miles from PCT MM1904. Picked up my resupply box and had a cheeseburger for dinner. Auna from Mazama caught up. She took the alternate Oregon Scenic Trail. Rob Marlow, the guy I camped with a couple of times is here as well.



Friday: (08/25) Up at 0600 to take a shower and wash my clothes. First, I put my batteries on charge at the store. After the shower, I put my clothes in the washer. The cafe was then open so I got a breakfast burrito while the wash finished. I enjoyed my tea as they dried. I returned to my tent selected and stocked my food and packed to leave. I had a full box of extra food. This stretch is shortened two days by a fire. I then moved to the store to watch my batteries charge. Chatted with Rob Bartlett and ate lunch, a nice BLT wrap. Auna stopped by and introduced her mother and her partner. Camped between Middle and Upper Rosary Lake at MM1909. Left About 1330 after lunch so stopped early. About 5 trail miles. Nice morning.




Saturday: (08/26) Up at 0600. I left st 0700, Rod 15 minutes later. He didn’t catch up for 4 milrs, just before he wanted a photo taken of himself and Bongo, a stuffed monkey he takes photos of in places along the trail for his granddaughter. He caught me at his 200 mile Mark. Long hill to start, another at noon and a third late afternoon. Made 18.8 miles today. Camped MM1928 at Taylor Lake just after passing through a long burn area of about 10yrs ago.



Sunday: (08/27) On trail 0715. I kept up with Rod about 3 miles then had to start taking rest breaks. He takes only one st noon.. Met him at a lake about 11 miles up trail about 1330. The last 6 miles was the hardest, as usual. I met Rod again at Dumbbell Lake, MM1945, where we planned to spend the night. More smoke smells this afternoon than any previous time. MM1945 Dumbbell Lake


Monday: (08/28) Up at 0530, on the trail with Rob at 0705. We stopped for a rest after about 4 miles. Only 6 miles to the Elk Lake trail junction then a little over a mile to Elk Lake Resort. Rob’ s wife met us there and we had lunch which included huckleberry shakes with pulled pork sandwiches. We then headed down through Bend to Sisters and they dropped me off at the Sisters Bunkhouse about 1330. I couldn't check in yet so I explored the town and checked for my boxes at the Post Office. Not in. I got my room about 1500 and took a good shower then did my wash a nearby laundromat. Dinner was at the Rancho Viejo Mexican restaurant.




Tuesday: (08/29) Up about 0900. Really smoky here. The hotel owner’s wife Kathleen drove me to the Post Office. Still no box. Breakfast and a chicken strip from a deli. I need to arrange a ride to Olallie Lake. The hotel owner offered but it’s a 94 mile one way. I called two trail angels. One hasn’t responded the other can take me on Thursday. Another night here? I reviewed my supplies and determined what I need to continue without my resupply. I checked at Ray’s market and they have all I need. I walked over to the Forest Service office. They referred me to the Detroit FS office where the lake is. I called them and there is a new fire started yesterday that closed the road to Lake Olallie. Russ, a trail angel called at about 1600 and said he could pick me up at 1730. I still had no box from the PO. I got a half credit for my second night's charges. Kathleen, the hotel owner, drove me Ray’s market. I had explored earlier and knew where to find what I wanted. Kathleen went by the PO for their mail while I shopped. When I got back to the hotel I added my shopping items to my food and loaded my pack. As I zipped it closed I got a call from the trail angel who said there was a new road closure of Hwy 20 from another fire so we couldn’t go. So, I told Kathleen I would be staying the night after all. I planned on getting to Timberline Lodge to do the next/last section. Looking for a bus it seems there is a Breeze Bus that goes within 6 miles of Timberline Lodge at Government Camp. Unfortunately no seats available. Kathleen agreed to take me to Bend for the bus. We have to leave at 0600 for the 0700 bus which hopefully has a seat. If not either I go by some other transit tomorrow or by the Breeze on Thursday staying the night in Bend.

Wednesday: (08/30) Up at 0545, showered and closed the pack. Kathleen came down at 0550 and we were off to Bend. I was dropped off at the Circle K for the Breeze Bus. I got a seat. Lots of PCT hikers boarded also. Checked my resupply box status. It arrived about 0745. I’d already left town. Arrived 0930 at Government Camp. Caught another bus up the hill to the Timberline Lodge and the PCT. Had the lunch buffet at the lodge and charged my phone. Headed off about 1300 on PCT which passes right by the lodge. Enjoyed a side trail, the Paradise Park Loop Trail. It’s an alternate to the PCT with lots of flowers on the meadows. Stopped for the night at MM2104 just before a big river crossing of the Sandy River.





Thursday: (08/31) Visited Ramona Falls by taking an Alternate trail for the PCT. Interesting river crossing just after leaving camp. A 1200 foot climb after that. Should be the last big climb. Happened upon trail magic at MM2112. Lolo Pass. Scotch was out of everything but donuts, cold orange juice, and cold water. I had OJ. Hiked another 4 miles and camped early at MM2116. The only campsite in range is good for one tent and has three ladies on the way ahead of me. Only 12 of the 16 planned miles for today. A fire closure ahead prevented my doing the Eagle Creek alternate trail. It also restricts hikers to the trail, no camping, no water for about 16 miles.



Friday: (09/01) Up 0500, on trail 0605. 7 miles to Indian Spring. Just a trickle. Had lunch there. On to Lake Wathum. Two forest service people there to assist with helicopter water bucket fills. Then on to camp at MM2133.




Saturday: (09/02) On one of my nightly risings I saw the glow of the forest fire at the horizon. On trail 0725. After a good climb and following a ridge it was steep down hill toward the river then 4 miles semi level to Cascade Locks. On the way down I reserved a room at Bridge Of The God's Motel. Arrived about 1400. After checking in, dropping my pack in my room, I headed to the ice cream joint for s root beer float and hamburger. Back at the motel, I took a long soak before a shower. While soaking I explored Portland hotels and buses. Then it was wash time. While it was. drying, I had fish and chips for dinner. Tomorrow is the last day for the Washington bus to Vancouver. If I understand the schedule it arrives on the Washington side of the bridge at 1135. Hoping. Once I confirm it will get me to Vancouver by boarding it, I’ll reserve a hostel bed. I hiked most of the last three days with Steve Terrell from Chicago.


Sunday: (09/03) Awaken at 0419 by a State Trooper banging on my room door. We were advised we were on a Level 2 Evacuation a notice. That meant pack your bags and be ready to leave. At 0600 the motel owner advised us we were both at Level 3 and had to evacuate. The fire over the ridge was now coming down the mountain toward town. Steve, my fellow hiker these past few days and I walked across the Bridge Of The Gods to Washington then East 3 miles to Stevenson. We got breakfast burritos at the market and caught the bus to Fishers Landing Transfer Station in Vancouver. Washington. On the way, I reserved the last bed at the Travelers Hostel. We then caught a bus to the Max light rail station in Portland. Steve was off East to the airport to meet his wife. I was headed West to downtown. With a transfer to another bus, I was dropped off at my hostel. I bought a padlock at a market the dropped my pack off. I arranged to meet fellow SJMWHG member Jessica in the Pearl District at an art fair. We had lunch at Deschutes Pub. While waiting for our table we visited Powell's Books. After lunch, we browsed the art then went by her house nearby. We visited until 1800 then I walked around some and back to my bus to the hostel. I grabbed a chicken strip and an ice cream at the neighborhood market before arriving at the hostel. It was hot all day and didn’t cool off in the evening.




Monday: (09/04) Up early for a shower. I was out walking by 0800. I walked out Alberta Street and found some interesting restaurants. Also found Random Order Pies where I had a slice for breakfast. I also returned for dinner of some chicken pot pie With a brandied peach pie chaser. I traveled and walked around including visiting Milwaukee. Lunch at Pepino’s Mexican restaurant on 233rd St. chicken tortilla soup. Raining ash from the fires in the evening.


Tuesday: (09/05) On the bus headed to Hillsboro at 0700. Had a great breakfast skillet at Elmer's near the end of the line station in Hillsboro. Walked the area. Found a nice home just two blocks from MAX and a hospital and six blocks from a great Mexican market. Large lot, 5 bedrooms. Checked out a house we saw on Zillow in Aloha. Explored Beaverton. Had lunch at the Hometown Buffet then discovered a great Chinese buffet, Buffet Palace, hidden in the same complex. Darn! Rode the WES train out to Wilsonville. For dinner, I returned to the Buffet Palace. Very good. Caught a MAX train at about 2030 back to the Hostel at 2130. Nice day except that it rained ash all day and the air was the worst ever.

Wednesday: (09/06) Awake as usual at 0600 but not much to do until 0800 after quiet hours. I washed my clothes and then showered. After finishing loading my pack I was off to breakfast. I rode the bus over to the Waffle Window on Alvarado. Enjoyed a savory bacon jalapeno waffle then a mixed berry waffle. I returned to the hostel and picked up my pack and headed off to the train station. The train arrived 15 minutes early and departed on time. In Salem we waited because of a derailment in Albany. Left Eugene almost 3 hours late.

Thursday: (09/07) Up at 0600. At the dining car door when they opened at 0630. Adequate food, Good conversation. We never made up our delay. I arrived in San Jose about 1300, 3 hours late. Lou and Dawn met picked me up and we went to lunch at Original Joe's restaurant in downtown San Jose. We did a little shopping on the way home.